Humidifiers can make or break your sleep, and even positively impact your health under the right conditions. An alarming number of 37.9% (fifty to seventy-million) Americans have a sleep disorder, while uncounted numbers of others use humidifiers to help reduce sinus irritation, asthmatic breathing symptoms, and other conditions. Essentially, humidifiers are a must-have in the bedroom if you’re not one of the lucky ones who can just fall asleep a moment’s notice, and rest like a baby. We’ve found the most functional, but also the most interesting and valuable humidifiers from everywhere we could think of, and we’re here to share the best humidifiers in 2018.
The Best Humidifiers In 2018
1. URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser and Cool Mist Humidifier
This filterless, cool mist humidifier comes ready to aid with your comfort. Intended for personal use, nighttime functions, this humidifier comes with child-friendly functions if you’re on the prowl for a humidifier for your asthmatic child, yet works wonderfully for personal use at any age. You get a light changing mode with up to seven colors, as well as an automatic shut-off feature for extended use. The one downside to this model is the short run time, which you’re going to expect with smaller, single use models (more on this in our comprehensive buying guide).
Designed after modern Japanese culture, this unit helps with dry skin, chapped lips, dry sinuses – essentially, your wintry conditions that would otherwise leave you feeling your worst. This unit does need to run on tap or distilled water plus two to three drops of essential oil to get the full use out of it, though not using oil won’t damage the machine. Program this to turn on and off whenever you want it to – ideal for returning from work to a comfortable space after a cold winter’s commute. This isn’t just the top model, it also earned our editor’s pick, and he personally recommends it for single use.
Color-changing mode to double as a child’s nightlight
Diffuses essential oils
Made of hard plastic/non-malleable material
- Weight4.8 ounces
“Whisper quiet” function for light sleepers
Programmable on/off cycle
Only six hours of runtime before water needs to be replenished/device should be turned off
2. Pure Enrichment Cool Mist Humidifier
Simple design, and a slew of function – the Pure Enrichment cool mist humidifier is the perfect cross between a small, personal humidifier, and one to take care of an entire room. If you’re suffering from specific health issues and need a small cost to amplify in a bigger space than your bedside table, you’ve found the humidifier for you. While the physical design of the base makes it a little too easy to knock over, the design does allow for easy cleaning and water replacement.
You get up to sixteen hours of run time on a single tank of water, which comes with 1.5 liters of space. One of the most important features of any humidifier is the automatic shut-off feature, and Pure Enrichment didn’t disappoint. From this reliable mode to the included cleaning brush and two-year manufacturer warranty, you’re good to go.
1.5 liter capacity
Automatic shut-off feature
Two-year warranty, plus a cleaning brush
- BrandPure Enrichment
- Weight1.75 pounds
Simplistic to clean
Sixteen-hour run time before needing to add water
Awkward shape (bulbus but narrow on bottom) makes it easy to knock over
3. VicTsing Cool Mist Humidifier & Essential Oil Drum
If style truly matters to you, you’ll flip for this one-of-a-kind (at a standard price) cool mist humidifier model by VicTsing. Sporting a wood matte design with cyan lights along the top, center strip, and outlining the buttons, this immediately catches your eye. After all, 8,300+ reviews can’t be wrong – it’s aesthetic as it is comfortable. Available in five different finishes, this humidifier delivers on prime function, too.
Compact and portable, this portable, quiet operation humidifier will fit in just about any space you designate for your home. On top of that, you’ll be able to adjust the LED light display to your liking, personalizing your space with a stylish and functional piece that follows function, but flaunts flair. This model comes with simple cleaning instructions, and an excellent run time of ten hours on a full tank of water.
300ml capacity for ten hours of continuous use
Adjustable LED light function
Four separate and useful timing modes
- Weight1.5 pounds
Stylish and functional at a great price
Ultra quiet operation
While the finish is stunning, you have to be careful not to scratch it/nick the edges
4. Honeywell Germ Free Cool Mist
Before you laugh, it’s not a toaster. Honeywell is a go-to for air conditioners, space heaters, and now, humidifiers that help encapsulate your space in the perfect humidity level. The atmosphere that you live in, that you sleep in, it matters more than you think, and Honeywell is up to the task of making your living space the best it can possibly be. This specifically comes with attention to detail on the internal wick, eliminates up to 99.99% of bacterial growth due to the engineering in this little beauty.
Additionally, you’ll be able to run this for twenty-four hours on a single tank of water, albeit on the lowest setting. Master three control settings, and utilize this as a white noise machine as well to aid in sleeping (noise is going to depend on your settings). This humidifier works to gently insert mist into the air without quick sprays that either hit you when you walk by, or end up splashing your guests. This one leans towards the more expensive side, but you absolutely get what you pay for.
Three speed settings to control your comfort level
Quiet operation (white noise level, ideal for sleeping)
Gently moistens the air without spraying mist on you/your guests at random intervals
- Weight9.55 pounds
Runs for up to 24 hours per filling (on low)
Inhibits up to 99.99% of all mold growth
Pricey for size
5. TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier
TaoTronics brings us a unique design, and a high capacity, with a bunch of other little features to makes this much more than just a humidifier. You get a four liter/one gallon container, allowing up to fifteen hours of continuous run time for larger spaces. On top of that, the spray nozzle rotates 360 degrees, allowing you to strategically place this in any space or setting. While the capacity is nice, it’s a large item, so popping it on the center of the kitchen table isn’t going to do; you’ll need a touch more space.
You get an LED display feature that also comes with a built-in timer and sleep mode, and quiet operation. When it comes to maintenance, you have nothing to fear – the all-inclusive microporous cartridge filtrates water for bacteria, leaving the inside of your tank and base a lot easier to clean when the time comes. Whether you’re purchasing this for yourself, your child, or even an infant, this humidifier packs the right amount of power to transform a dry space into a comfortable atmosphere.
LED light display feature
Holds up to one gallon/four liters of water
Automatic shut-off and excellent design
- Weight3.53 pounds
Gently raises the humidity level in your space for gradual gain
360-degree rotatable nozzle makes this ultra versatile
A little bulky for tabletops/counter areas
6. Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic High Mist Output Humidifier
Everlasting isn’t just a name – it’s true to the function. You get fifty straight hours of use from this high-output humidifier, allowing you to set and forget whenever you’d like. This model stackers a little higher than the rest on price, but when you consider that it runs for more than two straight days, it’s well worth the initial cost. This humidifier does say that it comes with an essential oils tray, as well as a built-in diffuser, but those functions really don’t do what they’re supposed to. If you’re simply in the market for a humidifier and don’t really need the oil diffusing feature, then you have nothing to worry about.
You get a three-sixty nozzle for maximum versatility, accompanied by an automatic shut-off feature to ensure that, just because it has a long run time, you won’t forget about it when the water dries up. From the high potential output to the sleek, portable design, and excellent features, Everlasting comes through with a reliable humidifier for all ages, and spaces up to 400 square feet.
High output potential
Automatic shut-off feature
Three-sixty rotating nozzle
- BrandEverlasting Comfort
- Weight4.5 pounds
Compact size while retaining a large water volume
Perfect for fifty straight hours of use
The built-in oil diffuser and tray are useless, and don’t operate as expected
7. Levoit 6L Cool Mist Humidifier
For one of the grand daddies of all humidifiers, Levoit comes with a lot of features as a price that might surprise you. From the customizable control features (with built-in memory to lean towards your preferences over time), to the hands-free remote control, you get all the easy features that you’ll use every single day. Monitor your room’s humidity with the humidistat, ensuring that you’re turning your atmosphere into the most comfortable space in your home. While you get a large 6L (1.6 gallon) capacity, you’re going to have a tricky time refilling and replacing the tank, due to some awkward handle placement.
Depending on your features, this unit can run for up to 36 hours, while operating quietly to minimize noise pollution in your home, and make it easy for light sleepers to catch some shut-eye late at night. With automatic shut-off, durable ABS plastic, and a two-year warranty (plus attentive customer support should you run into a problem), Levoit hits home on numerous marks.
Holds up to 6 liters of liquid
Excellent for large rooms or nurseries thanks to customizable functions
Remote control for hands-free access
- Weight4.92 pounds
Comes with humidistat monitor
Functional LED display allows you to control your comfort
Due to the location of the handle, this unit is rather aggravating to refill
8. Vicks Filter-Free Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
You’ve used Vicks, we all remember the scent of menthol from one point or another in our youth. They’re all about providing comfort and soothing your irritations, and they’ve done it rather well with this 1.2 gallon humidifier. Run this for up to thirty hours on the lowest setting, all while monitoring your water tank level thanks to the transparent, upfront tank. While this unit is easy to fill up with water, it does come with a few difficulties.
For one, specific parts require a keen attention to detail when cleaning. There are a lot of crevices to wipe clean/brush clear, and while doing so, keep wary of the flimsy internal plastic components. THis humidifier works well, albeit it with a higher volume of maintenance, and a more careful approach. Use this with Vicks VapoPads to seriously boost the comfort level in your home, and get the good night’s sleep you’ve been waiting for.
Designed for small to medium-sized rooms
Simple design allows you to monitor water levels
Runs up to thirty hours on 1.2 gallons of water
- Weight4 pounds
Use with Vicks VapoPads to maximize comfort
No filters needed thanks to the protec demineralization cartridges
Requires keen detail to cleaning
Plastic components are flimsy
Buying Guide & FAQ
Humidifiers are primarily used for health benefits, but they can also just be great to help you sleep at night. Whether you suffer from post-nasal drip, dry sinuses and nosebleeds, or you have health conditions that require a specific atmosphere, you have something to gain from the right humidifier. Deeper sleep, more comfort - the reason is yours, but just remember that the solution came from Gear Hungry first.
Types of Humidifiers
This depends on whether you’re going for a cooling or warming humidifier (more on this later), but generally, there are three types. We’re going to break down each one, and talk about their differences. While the contrast between them isn’t wild, it may play a significant role in how your humidifier can help you.
Evaporative Humidifier Breakdown
With these, cool mist is created through humidity, utilizing an internal fan to draw air from the room, and push it back out over something called a water wick. As this process continues, water evaporates into the air, gradually increasing humidity to achieve the perfect atmosphere. These are generally recommended if you’re going to leave them on all day while you’re at work, so you can come home to a comfortable environment.
Ultrasonic Humidifier Breakdown
These can be used for large spaces, though miniature models come in personal use-sized ones. These release a fog of mist over the room by captivating moisture, and in larger models, they’re blowing out from a small fan. This blankets the room in a (usually cooling) fog to change the entire atmosphere of your space.
Impeller Humidifier Breakdown
These use a consistently rotating disc-style fan blade to essentially propel water at a diffuser. That’s the component that breaks down water, and sends it into the air. However, these are usually not the most-used types of humidifiers for one reason: it’s up to you to keep the water pristine, or else you’re spreading bacteria throughout the air in your home or room.
Maintaining and Cleaning Your Humidifier
You’re using a highly-volatile piece of equipment. That is, if you don’t maintain and properly clean it. Humidifiers are there to increase your quality of life, your comfort, and potential health benefits. It can be a make or break for your space, so maintenance is key.
The number one reasons to clean your humidifier regularly (or more than regularly, which we personally recommend), is to prevent airborne bacteria and mold. It only takes twenty-four to forty-eight hours for mold to spawn, making your humidifier a ticking time-bomb if you’re not careful. If you’re using a humidifier for bronchitis or asthma, you’re specifically susceptible to airborne bacteria and fungal growth. It can also coat your room, making your entire space - even after you remove a dirty humidifier - contaminated for three or more days.
Now that we’ve covered why, let’s break down these simple steps on how you should be caring for and cleaning your humidifier.
#1 Unplug and Disassemble
Your humidifier is most likely going to have more than a few parts. You’ll want to unplug your machine first - don’t simply turn off the power strip it’s plugged into, you can never be too safe. Remove the motor housing from the device, the filter base, and the water tank, and set them all side.
#2 The Cleaning Solution
This is where it’s going to get a touch-bit tricky. In general, you’re expected to use a single teaspoon of pure bleach for every single gallon of water that you use to clean your machine. However, improperly cleaning your machine can lead to you breathing in bleach fumes - we don’t want that. We’re going to tell you to ditch using bleach altogether, and stick with the safety disinfectant in the world: white distilled vinegar. You can get a 16oz bottle (which is more than enough for your humidifier) for just over a dollar.
Make a cleaning solution of three tablespoons of white distilled vinegar, and half-a-gallon of water. Set it aside. Use up the rest of the bottle in the base of your humidifier, and let it sit for half-an-hour.
#3 Scrubba Dub Dub
Your water tank (not the base) is going to be filled with the solution you set aside a little while ago. Now that the mixture has sat, and the pure vinegar has sat in the base, it’s time to use a gentle bristle brush and start scrubbing the inside of both items. Gentle is the keyword here - you’re dealing with plastic (most likely) for both components, so scratching it can lead to bacterial growth in crevices and scrapes left behind by abrasive cleaning utensils.
#4 Empty and Rinse
You’re not going to run the mixture. The reason we’re using a diluted method for the water storage tank is because it’s generally just draining water into the internal area/base, so there’s minimal buildup here. Empty the mixtures out into a toilet or bathtub (you should be able to see small fibers or debris from cleaning), and rinse under cold water.
Assemble the humidifier, and run it with some cold water inside of it. Run it like you normally would - you’re good to go. While you may find some folks online (usually in forums) that say you don’t need to do this every two days, your health isn’t worth the risk. Clean and maintain regularly, and your machine will perform its intended function for years to come.
Runtime and Capacity Explained
Often times, you’re going to see the exact same thing explained in two ways: runtime and capacity are essentially the same thing. Your humidifier isn’t going to need to “take a rest” or be turned off all too frequently - these both refer to how much output your humidifier can produce in a 24-hour period. In most cases, your water tank is going to possess 25% more capacity than your daily output from your humidifier, which is designed so that you can hit the hay without feeling adverse effects in the middle of the night.
Room Size Restrictions
These are different depending on which model and type you go with, and in some cases, capacity greatly matters. In general, this is how to tell which humidifier is right for you:
Small: 50-400 sq ft
Medium: 400 - 1,000 sq ft
Large: 1,000 - 1,800+ sq ft
It’s important to focus and get something for your specific needs. If you wanted an ultra chilly room, you’d go with more BTUs on a portable air conditioner, but with a humidifier, too much of a good thing can be a problem. You don’t want a large one in a 250 sq ft bedroom; it could actually harm you. Ensure you’re getting the right humidifier for your needs.
Health benefits from humidifiers can be dependent upon your conditions, but in general, the main health benefits for using a humidifier are:
- Airborne disease prevention
- Dry skin/irritated skin aid
- Bronchitis aid
- Prevents snoring
- Relief for allergy symptoms
- Aid for asthmatics
Any time we get something with a motor, no matter how small, we always wonder, “How loud is it going to be?” You’re about to be pleasantly surprised. While your overall noise output is dependent upon the setting/fan speed you choose, you’re going to experience less noise with smaller, tabletop humidifiers. They’re often doubled as white noise machines for those with issues sleeping.
Cooling vs Warming Humidifiers
Each have their own purpose, explained best by a bulleted list of specifics between the two:
- They absorb minerals in the water, ensuring you’re not breathing in unhealthy bacteria or unnecessary components
- Mold spores grow less quickly
- Warm air humidifiers can be more soothing to specific health conditions
Cold Mist Humidifiers
- Cool mist is generally room temperature water that’s being dispersed slowly, giving a coolist effect as opposed to heat humidifiers
- Reduces your need to air condition/use a fan more often, saving energy
- Comforting to those in wintery conditions
Apart from simple cleaning and regular maintenance, you’ll need to remove and replace your filter cartridges on a one to three-month basis. These are going to slowly collect unnecessary components in tap water, such as fluoride and lead particles, (though you should be using distilled water when using a humidifier). These filters also help absorb particles that make their way into your humidifier unwantedly, or bacteria in semi-stagnant water.
This feature is a necessity if you’re living alone and don’t have someone else to turn the humidifier off while you’re at work. If you want a very specific environment, then you’ll want an automatic shut-off feature. Some models come with timer features, allowing you to set this to turn off just before you come home from work, leaving you with an environment that’s most comfortable to you.
Just like you may have gathered from the title, this is a thermostat equivalent for your humidifier. This will tell you the humidity levels in your home, individual room, and allow you to spectate the process. Everyone’s space is different, and square footage isn’t enough to go off of. Crammed with furniture and items, your square footage necessities will change based on your home/apartment. Monitor this to ensure your humidity doesn’t reach uncomfortable levels.